Petzl Sum’Tec (2013)

The Petzl Sum’Tec is available with a hammer head or an adze head to allow this model to be used as a pair for climbing steep snow and ice. However the adze version is also an excellent general mountaineering axe due to its set of features. Firstly it is a relatively lightweight axe and the shaft has a light curve to improve performance when climbing; but this is also useful when walking up steep snow slopes. There is an adjustable grip on the shaft, which is ideal for climbing; but like the Edelrid Raid this is also useful for cutting steps without the need for a leash, which is not supplied with this axe. The head is beautifully produced with smooth curves that allow it to sit neatly in the hands when walking or when the axe is used for self arrest. The pick is forged into a banana shape for more positive use on steep snow and ice. While the Petzl Sum’Tec is at home on steeper snow and ice it can also perform well on easier snow slopes and glaciers, making it ideal for those who mix walking with mountaineering and climbing and just want one axe for everything.

Classification technical
Materials forged steel pick and spike, alloy shaft
Sizes 43, 52, 59cm
Weight 491g (59cm)


The Petzl Sum’Tec was the best climbing and mountaineering ice axe for in our test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2013